Is the beauty industry becoming Woke?
As a woman of colour, beauty has always been extremely important in my life and I know that so many other people share my experiences. There are so many layers to this relationship which I will not go into in this post, however, I will talk about the current movement we are seeing in the beauty world towards diversity.
When it comes to beauty, it’s tough being a woman, but believe me, being a WOC is next level! Because our hair and skin are different to the ‘norm’, it has always been difficult for us to buy certain products such as darker shades of foundation, so we feel that we are not represented. Apart from known brands like MAC, Bobbi Brown and NARS no one else, until recently, has really catererd for the needs of women with darker skin.
However, thanks to social media, we are starting to see a shift from the traditional ‘western’ beauty standards which has always been the norm, towards inclusivity. I’m talking about diversity on all levels from skin colour, hair, body positivity and gender. Brands and celebrities are being called out on cultural appropriation and inapropriate labelling. Last week a beauty brand called one of its products spastic and this week a high street retailer labelled white skin as normal and the internet was not happy. It is therefore very clear there is a movemnt taking place.
Beauty trends like big brows, full lips, contouring and highlighting is seen on women of all colours and even on men. Unlike fashion, it seems that the beauty world has accepted diversity so much faster and we now have darker foundations available and also see women of colour in ad campaigns such as Charlotte Tilbury and Lancôme.
Lancôme’s vision of beauty is that ‘beauty is not dictated’ and celebrate diversity, freedom and expression for all women. Their latest campaign My Shade My Power features 40 incredible women from the UK and Ireland who are fantastic role models. The women are from all ages and backgrounds ranging from scientists, businesswomen, dancers, and sportswomen – everyone from Gurinda Chadha to Julie Adenuga. The Campaign (top) is to launch the Lancome Teinte Idole Ultra Wear which comprises of 40 shades. All 40 women are wearing a different colour making up the 40 shades and on the website you hear their story. It’s very powerful and such a fantastic idea to help represent those who wouldn’t normally feel like they are being included.
The foundation colours suit all skin tones from the lightest to the darkest shades including yellow, warm and cool undertones.. L’Oreal’s chemist Balanda Atis created the broad palette by discovering of an ultramarine blue pigment which offers deep pure colour in darker foundations. They decided to create such a large range as they found that 45% of women couldn’t find a shade that suits them.
So, does the foundation deliver?
If you are thinking of buying this foundation I would first of all recommend going to your local Lancôme counter for a consultation. There are so many colours and it can become confusing. The foundation is darker than it looks on the bottle so test it on your skin first. I was convinced I was 6 as that was the sort of colour I normally buy, but when I tried it on my skin it was too dark. Then, I tried 7 which is more yellow but too dark. I finally did my research by going on the website and went back to the counter to try a new colour out. I argued slightly with the consultant as I couldn’t belive I would be shade 501 but it is a perfect match.
The foundation itself is super nice and easy to use. I applied it with the All Foundation Brush (£29) which is a synthetic bristled brush to provide seamless blending across the skin curves, for an instantly flawless finish. I normally use a sponge but I really enjoyed using this brush, it’s really firm yet soft and it buffs the foundation onto the face really quickly. I think I will use this forever now as I love the finish.
I only needed a tiny amount of foundation for this full coverage look. It glides onto skin and is completely weightless and comforting. It makes my skin look perfect and radiant. The coverage is heavier than my current foundation, yet I used less of this for the same effect. If you like a heavy coverage you can build it up but I promise you, I doubt you will need it. The foundation doesn’t move or cake at all throughout the day. It even looked good after a days work and after a workout.
The foundation contains an Eternal Soft Polymer which allows an increased comfort level with ultra‑long wear. The NAI pigments are specially coated pigments to maintain consistent pH levels with the skin so makeup stays in place all day and doesn’t transfer onto your hands or clothes. The Perlite and Silica in the foundation are used to effectively absorb oils without drying the skin out. I would however, finish with Powder to set the foundation.
Before applying the foundation, I used the La Base Pro Hydra Glow Primer (£28.50) is my favourite kind of primer because it gives you a gorgeous dewy look as opposed to a matt finish primers are normally associated with. This primer is infused with 14 intensive skin caring actives including my favourite, Rose essence and two types of pearls which instantly refreshes the skin and revives the complexion with an awakened morning glow. I love it and it smells amazing!
I highly recommend this foundation. I am so pleased that Lancôme have been so great in promoting inclusively and celebrating diversity and the actual product is excellent too. Lets hope all of the other brands follow suit because let’s face it, excluding such a large population of people who spend so much more on beauty products means companies are massively missing out and in my opinion less progressive.
Available in 40 Shade from Lancome and Department Stores such as Selfridges, House of Fraser and Debenhams.